Valerie and Harry Thurston’s garden – garden #38


Lot size: 1,200 sq. ft. front garden, 95% native

Garden Age: Garden was installed in 2010

Years on the Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour: 2

Showcase Feature
Concerns about the environment prompted Valerie and Harry to lose their lawn and replace it with a water-conserving, pesticide-free garden that would attract wildlife.  This cottage garden, designed and installed by Michael Thilgen and the team at Four Dimensions Landscape Company, seems to flow down the gentle slope that leads from the house to the street.  Purple sages, sea lavenders, and penstemon mingle with the bright red tubular flowers of the native fuchsia and the ever-present greens of manzanita and coffeeberry. A burbling fountain attracts wildlife and people alike. Valerie brings a cup of tea out front every morning, and perches on a boulder, enjoying it all.

Other Garden Attractions thurston-6

  • Persistent weeds are eliminated by…persistent weeding.
  • The beautiful, airy flowers of purple needlegrass, our state grass, dance in the breeze.
  • Rain wafts the scent of ‘Allen Chickering’ and hummingbird sages throughout the garden.
  • Ferns, snowberry, currants, ginger, and redwood sorrel line the walkway to the cool and shady porch.

Gardening for Wildlife thurston-10
Tiger swallowtail and monarch butterflies frequent the garden. Large, shiny black carpenter bees are a common sight.  Ladybugs dine happily on aphids.  Hummingbirds adore the hummingbird sage.  Quail wander around the garden, seeking seeds, berries, and insects. Lizards lounge on the boulders.

Plant list

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